TruckPad was accelerated by Abril Plug and Play and won competition against 30 local and international startups
“Truckers are the taxi drivers of cargo and there is no other professional who needs more technology to move than these road workers,” says Carlos Mira, founder of TruckPad. The startup offers a platform that connects autonomous truck drivers to the next cargo, according to their geographical location, and already has about 200 thousand registered truckers, moving more than US$18 million in freight, monthly.
“With TruckPad, the truck driver saves fuel and time searching for cargo, which can last up to 15 days without the help of technology,” he explains.
Besides being one of the four startups accelerated in the first edition of the Abril Plug and Play program, TruckPad won the pitch session held by Plug and Play at the Winter Expo, on December 11, with the participation of 30 other startups.
Mira says his project won over 15 judges in the competition because it offers a solution to a real problem. “In Brazil there are about three million truck drivers, one million of them self-employed, which means that they seek the load by themselves. However, 40-60% of these trucks run empty in Brazil, because of the difficulty of communication between companies and truckers “explains Mira, who has been president of a large cargo transportation company in Brazil and has over 30 years of experience in the sector.
Despite the power of the road transport market in Brazil, where 70% of all goods are transported by land, moving US$ 22 billion a year, Mira says his idea of creating a technological product intended for truck drivers was questioned at first, even by entrepreneurs.
“Some said that the product would not work because truckers do not use technology. I proved them wrong.” The founder of TruckPad, created in 2013, states that many truck drivers are already using smartphone and his app has over 25,000 downloads on Google Play.
And the success of TruckPad is not restricted to Brazil, says Carlos Mira, who has already received proposals to take the business to the Philippines. “We are building relationships with global partners. We want to take a Brazilian solution for the development of transportation logistics globally,” says Mira.
The founder of TruckPad is experienced in the road transportation industry, but when it comes to the world of startups, he says he is a beginner. According to Mira, the acceleration at Abril Plug and Play was essential to understand the differences of running a large company and a beginner as TruckPad, with only eight employees. “Much of what I knew from years as an executive in a large company I had to set aside. I had to learn a lot about technology and market validation.”
In addition to providing cargo location, TruckPad’s app shows to the truck driver information on distance traveled, fuel prices, and tolls on the road. To be part of the system, transportation companies and truck drivers must register into the website, informing the type of load and truck, and place of delivery.